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Battle_Korbi

How should a first map ever released by someone look like?

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I am talking flow, aesthetics, duration, and all the tech stuff aswell.

 

Basically what should a first time poster look at when he decides to release a map first?

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It should feature as many standard features as possible. Lifts, crushers, teleporting monsters, rising stairs, lights that turn off, barrels, aligned textures, block sound lines, "ambush" flags, and so on. You want to demonstrate technical understanding of map editing.

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I dare say it can be as basic or as terrible as it can be, as long as the mapper is willing to take on board feedback (especially from more experienced mappers). After all, it's a first map. First maps are very rarely anything other than a piece of shit, but it's somewhere to start.

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2 minutes ago, Jayextee said:

I dare say it can be as basic or as terrible as it can be, as long as the mapper is willing to take on board feedback (especially from more experienced mappers). After all, it's a first map. First maps are very rarely anything other than a piece of shit, but it's somewhere to start.

In context of first map ever made by a person or published by a person?

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Alright, one biggie question.

 

About source ports and all.

 

I really like making maps for gzdoom and zdoom respectively. However, a lot of mappers worry about boom more than anything I think. Does it really matter that a map should be running in Boom in the first place or whatever, because... well... gzdoom really has some nice features I like to experiment with.

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In context of first map ever made by a person or published by a person?

 

Imo, it isn't good to officially publish a map that you know is noobish. The ideal scenarios are:

 

1) If you have the game design know-how, keep working on it until you think it's good, and then post a beta on the forums to get feedback.

 

2) If you're not so sure what you're doing, get as far as you can with it, and then post a beta on the forums to get feedback.

 

3) Treat it as a "sketch," scrap it, and keep making more throw-away sketches until you have something you're happy with, and then post a beta on the forums to get feedback.

 

If you've never made a map before, community feedback should always come before publication.

 

Quote

I really like making maps for gzdoom and zdoom respectively. However, a lot of mappers worry about boom more than anything I think. Does it really matter that a map should be running in Boom in the first place or whatever, because... well... gzdoom really has some nice features I like to experiment with.

 

Just make the map you want to make! If you want to use port features because that's the kind of map you want to play, that's totally fine. The only real mistake is if your map has no real reason for being a port map, and you unknowingly used port features to replicate something that could easily be done without the port.

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2 minutes ago, Battle_Kirby said:

In context of first map ever made by a person or published by a person?

Ever made.

As for published (as per topic), that's your call. You can release the first thing you ever make and relish in the brutality of feedback you get, or 'wait' until you have something you're proud of; just be aware your inexperience might not shield you from more tough love, as it were. ;)

 

I myself had made a handful of maps before I finally decided to release my first set. It's a shame those early efforts of mine are lost to the aether because, although really shit I still remember them having a couple of neat ideas in there somewhere.

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2 minutes ago, Use said:

just enjoy yourself and make something you'd like to play. 

This is the most important thing, really.

 

One common piece of advice is to try picking apart some maps you really love, so you can learn how those maps were made and what makes them appeal to you, so you can use the things you already like as a starting point for your own style. But there are so many ways to make a map that I don't think there's any one-size-fits-all answer here.

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Okay, last question and I will leave you alone and retreat to my secret art lab or whatever.

 

Which map would sound much cleaner for a first published map?

 

a) A tight hallway maze-alike thing with a lot of differing lights and whatever, with a shippeton of backtracking

b) A huge "wilderness" type of map with a lot of space to cover, backtracking as much as the player wants

c) A mostly linear "follow the river" map where one must get from A to B and doesn't ever need to backtrack

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I don't think a first published map should follow any rules at all, but tight hallway mazes and complete linearity are both things I personally dislike in any map.

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3 minutes ago, Battle_Kirby said:

a) A tight hallway maze-alike thing with a lot of differing lights and whatever, with a shippeton of backtracking

b) A huge "wilderness" type of map with a lot of space to cover, backtracking as much as the player wants

c) A mostly linear "follow the river" map where one must get from A to B and doesn't ever need to backtrack

None of these are "wrong," but the first one is likely to annoy a lot of people. Backtracking is frustrating and unnecessary, because you can always use teleporters or a better layout to avoid it. Mazey little hallways don't give players room to maneuver, and they probably all look the same, which is confusing. If you make a level that's mazelike, it's better to have more visual variety (it should probably be more rooms than hallways) and more space for movement, with a feeling of complex interconnectedness rather than just being funneled through a bunch of hallways. Ancient Aliens map 31 and Threnody map 08 are good examples of interesting nonlinearity.

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Which one do you like more? Making what you yourself are interested in is almost always going to give better results (and be a more enjoyable process!) than making something based on what someone else wants. Personally I'm not sure that any of those descriptions are really going to make for a fantastic map, but trying it out and seeing how it comes out so you can do better next time is just part of the learning process.

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Temple of Icarus by Mr. Icarus is in my mind a good example of what an author's first map should look like. It's balanced, straight forward, and doesn't attempt to do anything overly fancy. Let's be realistic, nobody is going to be able to craft something monumentally amazing without years of practice. I guess what I'm trying to say is, don't bite off more than you can chew.

 

 

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12 minutes ago, Battle_Kirby said:

Okay, last question and I will leave you alone and retreat to my secret art lab or whatever.

 

Which map would sound much cleaner for a first published map?

 

a) A tight hallway maze-alike thing with a lot of differing lights and whatever, with a shippeton of backtracking

b) A huge "wilderness" type of map with a lot of space to cover, backtracking as much as the player wants

c) A mostly linear "follow the river" map where one must get from A to B and doesn't ever need to backtrack

Back tracking in general is not the most popular of options, unless its for secrets in my opinion. Mazes are a bit hit and miss, as long as there not too epic, then fair enough. Tight spaces get complaints due to not being able to dodge shit which is also fair enough.

 

Wilderness maps do tend to be awesome when done right, however are rather hard to pull off (ooh err) to a good standard.

 

So... to start with a linear map would be a good option, also with advice/feedback from these forums and your own expanding experience you could add in extra areas and potentially make it a non-linear map.

 

And at the end of the day its your map, so make it how you see fit :-)

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Thanks guys, I get it now :D . I think I will figure out how to upload and all. Now back to the lab!

 

*super exciting screen wipe*

Spoiler

 

 

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My recommendation for a first release would be "study Scythe".  Bite-sized maps that play great and should be within what a new mapper can handle.

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Well the first map you release shouldn't be your first map ever, that would be horrifying and I wouldn't recommend doing that ever!

 

Your first released map should be when you understand how to make a iwad quality map with atleast decent gameplay mechanics. 

Please please please please!! don't try to cover up bad mapping skills by releasing your first works as a joke wad because chances are it's not funny at all and it will start up your doom mapping career in a bad light.

 

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8 minutes ago, Unholypimp1n said:

don't try to cover up bad mapping skills by releasing your first works as a joke wad because chances are it's not funny at all and it will start up your doom mapping career in a bad light

 

On the other hand, releasing an obviously not-well-developed work and taking on board feedback from experienced mappers; and showing marked improvement from this; could be one of the better ways to start a mapping 'career'.

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First map should be basic and easy as other people said. I could easily went with boom or even vanilla formats when I showed my first map,but nope I made very boring generic udmf map with swimmable water. Atleast it has nice music. Anyway,listen more experienced mappers and learn from them. Play good maps,play bad maps(they show how to not make mistakes). Also,you can take inspiration from real life things - shadows,buildings,floors/ceilings. And practice a lot. Almost everyone started with squares and triangles. Good luck. 

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Keep it short, try not to make it too hard, and remember to post screenshots and a download link using a reputable file sharing service.

 

Short easy maps are easy to review so you'll get a lot of feedback. Maps that are too long or difficult might drive some players away from playing all the way through so they won't be able to give a comprehensive review of the whole thing. The screenshots will give people a preview of what they're playing before they download it and commit their time to it.

 

Don't expect resounding applause. 

Don't be afraid to steal ideas from maps and wad designers you like.

Don't spend too much time on it either.

 

Save your time for a map or project you know is going to be good. Your first map should simply be a preview of what you're capable of, and a place where people can give you pointers on what to focus on. It's not unusual for mappers to focus too much on one thing and not the other. If you're uncomfortable sharing in public, there are many nice people here who would be willing to test your map for you. Try sending a personal message to a nice person whose opinion you can trust.

 

EDIT:

About source ports, you can use ZDoom and GZDoom for your maps if you want. Just make sure you mention that's the port you tested it with. Often times things that work with ZDoom or GZDoom are less than likely to always work with other more standard source ports. Most people here tend to prefer different source ports than one another, so going for vanilla or boom will often yield the highest feedback. But a ZDoom of GZDoom map may still be reviewed by ZDoom or GZDoom users.

Edited by 40oz

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The first map of this WAD was actually my first ever map and modding project. You decide whether it is good or not.

 

 

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I would make the first couple of maps small to medium sized, not too difficult and fun to play. See my "Stoned" map for Doom for an example of this.

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Imo:
For starters, think of E1 of Doom/Ultimate Doom, that'd be what starting would look like, and then going to E4 for the more advanced stuff.

A map that I would recommend for flow and looks is Map 01 of Scythe.wad , for a starting map it is beautiful. It's got level design, flow, and progressive difficulty towards the end, and not over detailed.


They recommend Boom support as it's one of the universal supports for SourcePorts, but you can do (G)ZDoom format, just remember those formats have a lot more that can be done then Boom format involving 3D floors and scripting.

 

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A big learning for me on my first map was to remember that everyone will play it differently to you. You might have an idea of how it's "meant" to be played, but everyone else will play it differently sometimes radically so. So getting play-testers is absolutely vital.

 

My first map took me over a year to create (about 300 hours in total) and went though about ten versions until I felt it was about right. So don't expect it to be perfect first time.

 

As for style: do whatever you want to do. Play testers will help you know if something is fun or not.

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Guys, a terrible update.

 

I was midway of making a good map. Not too detailed but not exactly Wolfenstein 3d either.

 

I had planned it all out. Made a sketch, made a short story about it (my practice as a aspiring writer), and made a draft of a map on Slade, everything was fine and dandy.

 

And just before I saved, the editor crashed.

 

How do you guys deal with this............

.......feeling.......?

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Save often. Reduces potential loss, it's just like any RPG, save save save so nothing is lost.

Pretty much to sum: Shit happens, just fight it on.

 

It is disappointing for it to crash though.

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Well I can still salvage the story and the sketch for the next attempt.

 

Funny enough, I didn't really get dissapointed when it crashed on other maps, even when they were bigger and more detailed projects.

 

Am I developing feelings?

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Heh, I remember my first WAD.  It was called "Welcome To Hell", and it is very plain looking.  I've been told that the gameplay wasn't horrid, though, and that the architecture of the ruins area was nice.  It was part of a three-wad minisode I made that replaced maps 1, 2, and 3 in Doom 2.  The best of the maps being Map02 entitled "Black Sabbath".  I placed a heavier emphasis on aesthetics and was starting to learn more about walkable linedef actions, so you see more of that here.  The third WAD in the minisode is called Water Treatment Plant, and is incredibly linear, but I think it has a cool boss battle at the end.

 

For your first ever WAD, I don't think you should share it on the forum for everyone to play.  I think you should share it to a few people who have been mapping for a while and get some notes from them.  As mentioned earlier, try to incorporate basic things like lifts, doors, monster closets...basically, don't make the same mistake I did.  Focus on functionality and gameplay before aesthetics.  If you ever want any maps playtested, feel free to message me.

 

If you try the WADs I shared here, be sure to have jumping enabled...there's another rookie mistake if your goal is to appeal to as many people as possible.  You'll also need to play Water Treatment Plant on a seperate run since it is in the Map01 slot.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Tracer

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